On my last post, I wrote about actually asking for and accepting help.
I forgot to mention that I also had to reach out to friends and family and admit I needed help. It is such a humbling experience to admit that you aren’t superwoman. And I didn’t get the reactions I had expected.
I had done a pretty good job of hiding my challenges from my husband. I always made it seem like I had it under control, so he had no idea I was struggling. We are a self employed family, so quite often, he has to work long hours and weekends, so he took me at my word that all was good. Until I confessed that all was indeed not “good.” He was skeptical about the help I was accepting, but he fully supported me.
I love that he is strong enough to let me make my choices, even if they aren’t choices he would seek out.
I phoned some of my family members and let them know that I had asked for help and was receiving it. They were all pretty surprised that I was having any trouble at all. I always seemed like I had it all under control.
And to be perfectly honest, I use my kids school and activities to keep busy, but not really invested. I could plan my day to see people who didn’t know me well enough to ask the important questions. It’s easy to just say you’re “good, but busy” to people who expect that answer. I avoided the people the would be able to see past my façade and ask the other questions.
So now that I had asked for the help, what would happen?
The work would begin. I had to be honest with where I was each day. I had to start counting my blessings to help re-train my brain. I had to start realizing how many blessings I had let slide.
My friend challenged me to write down at least 3 things on my gratitude list each day. Something I was grateful for, someone I was grateful for and something I was grateful about myself. I didn’t expect that to be so hard.
My inner critic was so loud, I had a really difficult time coming up with things to say that were nice about myself. It was really troubling for me to realize that I didn’t really seem to like myself anymore.
I also had to start working through my past. All of those instances that I’d shoved down deep needed to be excavated and gone through. I dreaded this part the most.
The fun part turned out to be the rocks and oils. Who knew? I get to choose new bracelets that, even if they aren’t magic, make me think every time I look at them. I wear one that reminds me to love myself, and that reminds me to set boundaries, and another that reminds me to stay on task. I really don’t know if they have any medicinal benefit, but I do know that choosing them each day helps me to choose my focus for the day.
I feel like, especially as a mother, I don’t often get to choose my focus. Most days, I feel like I just run around putting out fires as they arise. Choosing my priority for the day really seems to help me to feel a little more in charge of caring for me too.
I am planning to take you through my journey of unpacking the baggage and tossing out the things I carried that weren’t important and true anymore. I’d love for you to come along and hopefully inspire you to unpack your own bags. Let’s lighten the load together.
Friend, I still don’t know exactly what struggles you face, but I do know that you are not alone in them. We all face struggles. And the brave ones decide to take off the mask and be real. Then we can gather those around us that we need as part of our village. They can lift us in prayer. They can carry the load when we feel too weak. They can check in on us and we can be real with them.
I would love to lift you up in prayer if you’d let me. Leave me a comment, and I will add you to my prayers.
And again, I need you to know, really know, that asking for help is the bravest thing that you can do. Please, please, reach out to someone you trust. There are many people who would love to help, if only you would let them know what you need.